Review: Something Like the Real Thing (Sing Out, #4) by Hanna Dare

He always has a plan…

Jesse Preston is exactly where he always wanted to be: in LA, recording an album. So why does he feel like he’s about to lose everything? One thing he’s sure of is that he needs to keep his bisexuality hidden… but he never planned on falling for someone. Not just anyone—a TV star who’s one half of a famous, and straight, celebrity couple.

One kiss can change everything…

Grayson Adler is used to pretending. He’s an actor after all. So when he’s asked to keep his break-up with his troubled co-star a secret he has no problem playing along. He also has no problem showing Jesse around LA. Grayson likes spending time with him, likes making him laugh, likes him more than he’d ever expected. But they’re just friends, right?

In a town where everybody’s got secrets, how can they be sure of what’s real?

This novel can be read as a standalone. It’s complete at 60,000 words, with no cliffhanger and no cheating. It does feature ping-pong, hats, dance breaks, and explicit scenes between adult men.

Grain of salt, people. Grain. Of. Salt.

I'm not sure what the hell I was thinking when I requested this book. I do not like musicians or  celebrities. So... was I drunk? Possessed? Did I even read the blurb? Even after I started it, I was confused as to what I'd inexplicably let happen. I kept thinking, HOW???

But it really did turn out to be a pleasant surprise. We got off to a strong start. I like the author's writing style and was quickly engaged. Sucked in was I by the cuteness and fluffiness. Both of these characters are easy to like as was the development of their relationship. They are opposites with Jesse being introspective to Grayson's extroversion. Jesse is moody and diligent whereas Grayson is gregarious and easygoing. Both are fleshed out well and they are well suited.

Jesse, fresh off a Singing Sensation win (singing competition show), has moved to LA to record his first album. A fellow competitor, friend and probable star of a prior book, Conor, is now guest starring on The Drama (sounds like Glee to me) and introduces him to the male lead, Grayson Adler.

This reads fine as a standalone, in case you're wondering.

They hit it off quickly, start spending more time together then Grayson realizes he's attracted to Jesse. Jesse is bi and in the closet. Grayson has never recognized his bisexuality until Jesse. There's much to like about this book: how sweet they are together, their cute, quiet moments, how they tease each other, the acceptance of their relationship by friends and family, but Grayson's willingness to embrace his newfound sexuality was probably my favorite part. He doesn't angst or second-guess; it just is what it is. He likes Jesse so why shouldn't he explore it?

There are several trips to The Bone Zone and a de-virgining. Nothing blew my doors off but I enjoyed their connection and that they didn't mad dash into anal.

So, it started off strong I was thinking 4 Hearts all the way then... it lost momentum. It went all Hollywood on me with the promoters, producers, publicists, paparazzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz Sorry, I nodded off there. Could've been the alliteration.

Anyway their paths diverge. It's not even that they break up or anything they just aren't spending time together, because Jesse's brother's in town or he's in the studio or Grayson's costar and ex-girlfriend struggling with addiction and him trying to help her. I appreciated that the author took the time to show addiction's ripple effect-how it doesn't just affect Anabel but Grayson, Jesse, Wendy as well as the cast and crew of the show. As much as I appreciate the fact that they have to make their own way in their respective careers and that Jesse in particular has to find his voice and even that they have to find their way back to each other, I lost interest. And I never really got it back either.

It ended strongly with a nice grand gesture that transitioned into an HEA. I would've liked the lyrics to that song though. That would've taken it next level! Were I more interested in Hollywood this would've been more enjoyable, because it's clear the author put effort into that aspect of the story.

I did enjoy her writing style and would read something else by her. Just not musician/celebrity related. And I'm now welding the door on the no musicians, celebrities, rockstars bunker. You'll have to blast me out of that thing.

A review copy was provided.


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